by Sam Stone
For an hour last night, watching the President’s State of the Union Address I thought I had made a mistake. Was this a leadership address, or Back to the Future 4? In 2007, then-Senator Obama ran on unprecedented bouquet of promises. Promises to fix our health care system, balance the budget, create a “new” economy and fill this nation with hope. But history is a harsh judge.
Obamacare has cost thousands of hardworking employees their health insurance, and raised costs for millions more. That it is a windfall for insurance companies is hardly surprising, since Obama and the Democratic leadership let them write it. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even had the gall to say “…we have to pass the [health care] bill so you can find out what is in it”.
And a balanced budget? Republicans in congress have submitted multiple bills this year calling for cuts, calling for a balanced budget only to be blocked by President Obama and his Democratic allies in the Senate. In fact, it’s now been over one thousand days since we actually had a budget. Even during Obama’s first two years in office, when Democrats controlled both the Congress and Senate, they refused to pass a budget for fear the public would rebel against their out-of-control spending, corporate bailouts, and union handouts.
Further, while ceaselessly blaming his predecessor George Bush for our continuing economic malaise, from Solyndra to Fannie Mae, Obama’s economic policies have done nothing to create jobs. Instead, Obama’s dog Bo has created more shovel-ready jobs than the President has. American’s median income is down 10% in the last four years. Unemployment is up.
There is no question. The President’s State of the Union address was reminiscent of his powerful speeches of the past. A number of the ideas he presented are attractive to people across the political spectrum. Just like in 2007. And, full disclosure, in 2007 I was one of the people who fell for his flowery words. Like many other conservatives, I was unhappy with the spending and excesses of the Bush administration. I wanted our elected officials to work together to solve the problems facing this country.
Lesson learned. Oh, yes, lesson learned. President Obama has done one thing better than any other President in history: tell the American people one thing and then do something else. The question this time around is how many people can he continue to squeeze into the DeLorean? How many people will be willing to ignore the last four years, and hope it’s 1997 again?